Wedding Vows Writing Checklist

Can't find the right words? Use this checklist to pen meaningful vows to exchange.

Create a Writing Plan

  1. Check Talk to your officiant.

    Get the green light from your officiant to personalize your own vows. (Some houses of worship require you to recite traditional vows.)

  2. Check Set expectations with your fiance.

    Will you write your vows together? Will you share your written words with each other before the wedding day? Is there an ideal length for your vows? Is there anything too personal that you don’t want to be shared in public?

  3. Check Decide on any religious references.

    If your spiritual leanings are loosely defined, or if the two of you were raised in different faiths, have a soul-searching discussion with your fiance at least one month before the wedding to talk about what brings meaning to your life and how best to incorporate this into your vows.

Find Inspiration

  1. Check Exchange love letters with your fiance.

    Keep a copy of the one you write, and reread both letters when starting to compose your vows.

  2. Check Revisit your relationship.

    Look at souvenirs from dates, return to places that mean a lot to you both, and flip through photo albums.

  3. Check Borrow wedding videos from friends.

    When viewing the exchange of vows, think about what you like best and least and what you can adapt for your own vows.

  4. Check Hit the Web.

    Get inspired by poetry and quotation sites, such as and

Start Writing

  1. Check Keep the words positive and personal.

    There’s no need to relate the storms you two have weathered. Also, avoid words or phrases you wouldn’t normally use—don’t just pick a passage to quote because it sounds eloquent.

  2. Check Consider incorporating meaningful quotes or passages.

    Insert a tender passage from a favorite children’s book or lullaby, if you wish.

  3. Check Bounce ideas off friends, relatives, and your officiant.

    If you’re nervous about the words you’ve written, get honest feedback from a friend or family member.

Get Prepared for the Ceremony

  1. Check Practice your vows.

    In the days leading up to your wedding, look into the mirror and recite the vows aloud. Take it slow; this will help your voice resonate. Familiarity with your vows will inspire confidence.

  2. Check Write down a final version of your vows.

    Have your maid of honor carry a copy to the altar in case nerves leave you tongue-tied.